Georgia county asks residents to stop calling 911 about cicadas
Officials in Georgia are begging residents to stop calling 911 over the swarms of cicadas beginning to reemerge after 17 years underground.
The Union County Fire/Rescue and Emergency Management Agency wrote in a Sunday post on Facebook that they had received multiple 911 calls for “alarms” going off.
Most of these alarms were likely the loud “songs” of the Brood X cicadas, the largest brood of the periodical bugs found in much of the eastern United States this summer.
“They also have a range of different sounds they can produce, making them some of the loudest of all insects. It is often difficult to pinpoint where the sound is coming from and can sound like a vehicle or home alarm system. Their song can be loud enough to cause hearing loss as they can produce sounds up to 120 (decibels),” officials wrote.
The first responders requested that residents track down potential alarms that may be going off before contacting authorities.
The cicadas have emerged for their mating season and are expected to remain around for about one month before burrowing back to disappear for another 17 years.
The loud “singing” of the male cicadas is used to attract females. Each species has a different song and they often harmonize together, according to the National Park Service. Entomologists believe that the loud sound is an element of protection for the cicadas because it could hurt the ears of predators.